Take a bland, boring salad from zero to amazing with Salad Dressing 101 tips from Renee of Renee’s Kitchen. Don’t forget to check out her teaching videos while you’re salivating over her amazing recipes.
When I was growing up, we never ever ate salad. Ever. Sometimes I had it at a restaurant, but never at home. That seems so ridiculous now since I have salad everyday or a green smoothie. I can’t imagine a day without my greens.
Low Culinary Commitment
I’m often put off by long ingredient lists or a recipe that takes hours to make. Healthy salad dressing is easy – a few ingredients and instant gratification. And if you don’t like it, pour it down the sink and start over!
The trick to amazing salad dressing is . . . the ratio. I like a 2:1 ratio. Olive oil is my preferred oil, and I do buy some fun oils. My current favorite is from Trader Joe’s; it has pepper undertones and is great for this project. Once you find a oil you like, just stick with it. I get that the store has 500 different oils but really, pick one, use it and then change when you need more. (I say this because I have had . . . a oil graveyard in my cupboard; it was embarrassing really.) Now that we have you set with an oil, we need some zip to add to it.
The trick to amazing salad dressing is I like a 2:1 ratio.
I love balsamic vinegar. I love fig infused vinegar. Lemon juice is another favorite but the kids don’t like it. The kids like smashed strawberries or raspberries, which is really good, a great color, but too sweet for me.
Basic Salad Dressing Recipe
1/2 cup of oil (olive oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, peanut oil,
1/4 cup of acidic (lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, rice wine vinegar, lime juice)
1 tablespoon of any of the following: honey, mustard, walnuts, peanuts, almonds ginger, garlic, fresh herbs, soy sauce, figs, onions
Winning Salad Dressing Recipes
- olive oil, roasted walnuts, fig spread, balsamic vinegar, and feta cheese (now that I’m vegan I drop the feta. The feta adds great depth and saltiness.)
- olive oil, tarragon, and lemon
- honey mustard and rice wine vinegar–how simple is that?
- horseradish mustard, champagne vinegar, dill, a touch of oil, salt and pepper
- Warm salad dressing: two tablespoons of butter (or Earth Balance if you are vegan) melted in a pan. While it is still warm, add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, a touch of brown sugar, and toss over spinach and strawberry salad (add bacon if you are a meat eater).
- Coleslaw dressing: 1/2 cup of veganise and 1/4 cup of Panera Fuji Apple Salad dressing. Toss with a bag of broccoli slaw.
Now remember–the 2:1 ratio lets you make a micro batch of dressing. Play, have fun, get your greens dressed and ready to make you feel healthy and energized.